Lord of the Lost – Thornstar (Napalm)

Sunday, 29th July 2018
Rating: 8.5/10

Building up a fanbase over the past decade, Lord of the Lost are up to their seventh album in Thornstar. Their second release for Napalm Records (following last year’s Swan Songs II), they return with another conceptual album, this time focusing on a myth of a ‘doomed high civilization,’ it’s a ripe option for a band that incorporates elements from many genres into their sound.

Thornstar’s strongest aspect is how it ties together a plethora of musical ideas into something more compelling and remarkably cohesive. Lord of the Lost’s sound seems to pull from modern metal, industrial, dark rock/gothic, electronic, and even ‘80s new wave at times. So it’s no small feat that they are able to capture something that works so well, but it does aid in telling a story. They can bring in heavier tracks like “On This Rock, I Will Build my Church” and “Ruins,” complete with thundering riffs and pulsating industrial/electronic effects and unload completely, knowing that some balance comes with more melodic cuts like the addictive, Depeche Mode-esque “Black Halo” and emotive “Cut Me Out.” More cinematic and symphonic elements enter tracks like “Morgana,” furthering solidifying the feeling of the conceptual nature of the material. While there’s a clear industrial edge to the act throughout, they also possess a good balance in terms of knowing when to lean in them more, or focus more on riffing. With this diversity present, vocalist/guitarist Chris Harms also deserves some credit for being able to switch between more aggressive shouts and more emotional bellows (often of the gothic variety) with ease, giving the music a strong voice to take the music one step higher.

Thornstar is an excellent starting point for those who may not have been introduced to the act before, while satisfying the current fanbase. Those seeking something more on the modern end of the spectrum that has the necessary flash and drive to it, but an emotional richness below that will keep you coming back for more are bound to be thrilled with Lord of the Lost’s work here.

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